INTO THE BLUE

Yachting - - EDITOR’S LETTER - pa­trick sci­acca Ed­i­tor-in-Chief pa­trick.sci­acca@yacht­ing­magazine.com

TWO HUMP­BACK WHALES BREACHED FOR­WARD OF THE BOAT. THEY STAYED ON TOP, PUTTING ON A DIS­PLAY FOR ABOUT 45 MIN­UTES.

To me, each morn­ing rep­re­sents pure op­ti­mism. The prom­ise of po­ten­tial is pal­pa­ble. That’s how my In­de­pen­dence Day started. Our crew heard re­ports of an amaz­ing tuna bite not far from our home port on Long Is­land, New York. We left be­fore first light. ¶ As the boat eased out of the in­let, gray light cracked the east­ern hori­zon. Adren­a­line amped up even more as our team traded sto­ries of whose friend caught what fish and where just a day or two ear­lier. The fish tales raised the crew’s cu­mu­la­tive blood pres­sure in a pos­i­tive way. ¶ The sea was like a glass table­top, and our sport-fish­er­man’s 30-knot cruise had us off­shore in a hurry. We came across a pod of dol­phins cir­cling in rapid fash­ion; it looked like they were cor­ralling bait. Birds dove from on high, and we saw the splashes of prey try­ing to es­cape at­tacks from above and be­low. The scene looked fishy, so we started trolling. ¶ Noth­ing. While it was an amaz­ing spec­ta­cle of na­ture, there were no fish. ¶ We moved on to­ward our orig­i­nal way­point, again find­ing acres of dol­phins. They swam along­side the boat and in the wake. I just about filled my iPhone’s stor­age with video. But still, no tuna. ¶ Shortly af­ter we found the dol­phins, a cou­ple of fin­back whales cruised by. Then a sea tur­tle. Then a mola mola. It was like liv­ing in a Nat Geo spe­cial. But again, no fish. ¶ We made a run for the canyons about 40 miles from where we had started. It was still early enough that hope re­mained. When we ar­rived, we found some bait and some fish marks on the sounder. As we trolled across the 100-fathom line, a fam­ily of ham­mer­head sharks swam past our port side. Then a mako to star­board. Next, about a quar­ter-mile ahead, we saw the ocean ex­plode with white wa­ter. We ran up to the spot, and the Dop­pler ef­fect on the wa­ter was ap­par­ent, but our crew never saw what­ever had made the im­pres­sive dis­play. ¶ We plied the wa­ters for a few more hours be­fore run­ning back to our first stop. Two hump­back whales breached just for­ward of the boat. They stayed on top, putting on a dis­play for about 45 min­utes. One of our crew flew a drone over­head to cap­ture their be­hav­ior on video. ¶ With day­light fad­ing, we fi­nally got a strike, a tuna. But even if we hadn’t caught a thing, the show the ocean put on that day was sim­ply spec­tac­u­lar. It was the il­lus­tra­tion of op­ti­mism, the prom­ise of po­ten­tial re­al­ized.

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